When the Interstate 95 cut through Maine, and the whiz bang invention of the Internet took off like wild fire, small Maine towns took a hit.
Too easy to hop in the car, round up a few friends and head to one of the few cities in Maine. To shop until you drop. But without a dime going into the local coffers where you live, work and play.
I live in a county seat, a Shiretown of Maine’s largest of sixteen, Aroostook. The size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined and dotted with small towns, plantations and unorganized territories. So keeping money local is key. And generating new revenue streams beyond just recycling the same service, retail dollars is everyone’s concern.
Because we are the Aroostook County seat, there is an able stable of legal beagles.
To title search properties, update abstracts to assure the lender or the buyer of a property that everything is peachy keen. Squeaky clean regarding the title behind the Maine real estate being conveyed, mortgaged, traded, bought. Or that there are liens that stick to, run with the title like burdocks in the tail of the old gray mare. Some easier than others to get out. A few so drastic, severe that even title insurance won’t cover the risk, odds of a claim or challenge. That are too messed up for the properties traded for two pigs and a chicken. That don’t warrant spending a large chunk of the green stuff hidden, tucked away in a wallet or purse to clean up, cure, fix. Not worth the return on investment because the history of the title is so messed up, troubled.
So when a Maine property is put under contract, and the buyer selects a local Maine attorney to represent them at the closing, leave it be. When to assure the bank after examination of the deeds over the last forty years that there is a title worth a loan. To be used as collateral, security for the lender that everything is pretty simple. Straight forward and should be clear easy sailing to the final shuffle of paperwork that gets recorded at the local registry of deeds on Court Street in Houlton Maine.
Until the Maine bank involved decides to lean on a railroad switch, to divert the legal work to a title company down state.
One that has no stake in the community. No local sticks and bricks they pay property taxes on. No local facility that is a beehive of industry and creates local jobs. That means those salaries get spent locally at the grocery store. To purchase local gas, to help fund local schools, public safety, to fill potholes. To keep healthy the local intrastructure of a small Maine town. Everything that makes it tick, breath, exist. The local attorney, local bank all create close to home economic development in its simplest form.
The out of town gypsy services that blow in and out and tout we can give your customers better service, pricing are wrong. Because there are local entities, friends and neighbors already doing the same thing. On the local level where the money for services gets plowed back into the Maine small home town economy. That have a wealth of knowledge, stand behind their goods or services when needed. Service what they sell and are live, local. Available round the clock. In it for the long haul.
In a bright lights, big city you might not think so much of how important it is to shop local.
To trade close to home for goods and services. And knowing it is all too easy to hop online. Tap tap and get something shipped in within a matter of days, sometimes hours that you could not live without, had to have. But if the service, goods are offered locally, trade close to your Maine home. Or there won’t be a small Maine town of which last count there were 108 surviving, struggling. Some gasping. From economic COPD.
Got the bank involved that stalled a Maine real estate sale by trying the shell game with attorneys involved behind the scenes to keep the deal local. Lot of needless phone calls, texts, emails to get back on the original track to the closing. But pushed hard to honor the original order sent to the legal kitchen. Do you worry about your local economy? Try to keep it healthy, to trade local? Every new dollar turns over six to seven times.
Do what you can to preserve, foster shopping local is what all Mainers are taught is so vital and learned early on as young grasshoppers.
Maine, simple living, everything is outdoors all four seasons. You feel more of an awareness. A strong connection with others in small Maine towns. That all are loaded with the jaw dropping beauty of our unspoiled natural surroundings.